Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s democracy sinking under Rupert Murdoch’s media monopoly

Most troubling for our democracy is the Murdoch press. ….

the Murdoch media’s campaign against Kevin Rudd over the mining tax, with the support of the Minerals Council and mining billionaires such as Twiggy Forrest and Gina Rinehart (Australia’s richest person), spelled the end of Rudd’s prime ministership…..Murdoch has similarly set his sights on toppling Julia Gillard and seeing the end to Australian action on climate change.

Carbon tax and the News Limited parallel universe, Independent Australia, By David Donovan, 12 Jul 2011 , We live in a parallel universe. On one side, we have the Government, the Greens, the Independents (except Bob Katter), most of the business lobby, the renewables sector and pro-environment groups claiming the carbon tax will be a long term benefit for Australia and its economy and that, with the Government rebates, it will be a largely painless change.

On the other side, we have the Opposition, the big polluters and the Murdoch press declaring “we’ll all be rooned!”

Drifting around in the void in between is a baffled and confused Australian public. Continue reading

July 20, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Gillard and the Greens to scrutinise Murdoch’s media empire

Phone hacking: Australian PM promises ‘hard questions’, BBC News, 20 July 11,   The Australian branch of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire will face “hard questions” in the wake of the phone hacking scandal in Britain, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said.

She said she was “disturbed” by revelations about his UK business.

The company dominates Australian media – it controls 70% of the newspaper readership and has extensive holdings in television, the internet, and other media….

The Greens, which hold the balance of power in the upper house, have called for a parliamentary inquiry into News Limited, Mr Murdoch’s Australian firm.,,,,,

July 20, 2011 Posted by | media | Leave a comment

Australia a multi party democracy, but the media doesn’t “get this”


It reflects badly on journalists and commentators who run the Opposition line that minor parties have no legitimate rights to be major players in our parliamentary democracy….Australia is not, and has not been for decades, a two-party political system and old school members of the media who struggle with that are going to have to come to terms with the political reality.

Groundhog day as some media indulge in anti-Green spin Online Opinion, By Vivienne Wynter – , 20 July 2011  I nearly choked on my kangaroo curry the other night watching the commercialtelevision news anchor ask viewers: “Who is running this government?” 

This question was posed in an introduction to a story about the Greens announcing the Renewable Energy Agency, prior to the Carbon Tax announcement. Continue reading

July 20, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Weather expert explains: greenhouse gases, not solar flares, the major cause of global warming

solar changes have been far too small to explain the dramatic warming of the Arctic that has been observed.

Other patterns of change provide a means of distinguishing between solar warming and greenhouse warming…..Climate does vary naturally. We can’t stop the climate system changing, but we can avoid loading the dice heavily in favour of rapid warming of the climate system.

There’s always the sun: solar forcing and climate change,  THE CONVERSATION, 20 July 2011Karl Braganza, Manager, Climate Monitoring at The Bureau of Meteorology“…..A popular argument against the enhanced greenhouse effect, or a human influence on climate, has emerged:

“We don’t doubt that climate changes, the climate is always changing”. 

The climate always changes, especially when pushed

If climate is unstable, how does it follow that climate is insensitive to increasing carbon dioxide? Continue reading

July 20, 2011 Posted by | climate change - global warming | | Leave a comment

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank joins in the Murdoch press’s pro-nuclear marketing hype

Long-term contract prices are forecast to move steadily higher, following upward-trending spot prices and consistent with production increasing and shifting up the industry cost curve, the bank said….

Fukushima Accident Delays, Doesn’t Stop, Nuclear Renaissance -CBA, Fox News, By Ray Brindal,  July 20, 2011,CANBERRA – The accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, which reignited concerns about the safety of nuclear power worldwide, hasn’t stopped the industry’s growth plans in many countries, though it has delayed the process, Commonwealth Bank of Australia reported Wednesday. Continue reading

July 20, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

On solar energy – Victoria, wind power -New South Wales

5MW Solar Farm Constructed In 6 Weeks, Energy Matters, Renewable Energy News, 20 July 11,.Last week, the UK’s largest solar farm was fully commissioned and connected to the mains grid. The 4.9MW station was developed by Lark Energy and is located at Hawton in Nottinghamshire.  The project consisted of 21,000 solar panels situated on 30 acres of former quarry land and will provide enough energy for the electricity needs of 1,300 homes. As Australia finally begins the journey towards a low-carbon economy in earnest, it’s reassuring to know that solar power can quickly replace a substantial amount of coal-fired capacity. While a 4.9MW solar farm is by no means enough to make up the shortfall created by an early closure of Hazelwood, Environment Victoria recently pointed out there is currently 3,000 megawatts of renewable energy projects approved in Victoria, along with thousands of megawatts of gas projects that could be constructed in two to four years.

 With these new projects will come an abundance of jobs. Additionally, Victoria has an abundance of rooftops in its towns and cities that could be utilised for harvesting the sun.

How fast Victoria will be able to make the switch away from coal will be largely dependent on the political will to make it happen….


Acciona’s third wind farm in Australia, reve, july 20, 2011The Gunning Wind Farm, 46,5 MW, is located in New South Wales and represents a 107 million € investment. Acciona’s Chairman, José Manuel Entrecanales, congratulates the Government of Australia for its initiatives to increase the development of renewable sources of energy.

The Gunning Wind Farm is a 46.5 MW wind power plant consisting of 31 Windpower AW-1500 wind turbines. The wind energy project represents an AUD $147 million investment (107 million euros)…..

July 20, 2011 Posted by | energy, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Toro uranium company to press W.A. govt for exemptions to royalty payments?

Toro managing director Greg Hall said he would examine the proposal and consider approaching the government for possible exemptions

State royalty plan hits Toro hopes for uranium project, THE AUSTRALIAN, SARAH-JANE TASKER , July 21, 2011  TORO Energy’s plans to become the first new uranium miner in Western Australia have been hit by news the state government will force the emerging industry to pay a royalty. Continue reading

July 20, 2011 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment